AUSTIN, Texas (KARM/KCIT) — On Wednesday, Dec. 8, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement about his Executive Order GA-40, which prevents employers from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates on employees with certain exemptions. The statement came after the Texas Workforce Commission sent a letter to Texas employers in order to clarify the state law.

TWC sent the letter to remind state residents that under Executive Order GA-40, Texas employers are not allowed to enforce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on employees who qualify for an exemption. Such exemptions can be based on religious, personal, or medical reasons, a press release stated.

“Since day one, the State of Texas has taken a stand against the federal government’s unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace, three of which have since been deemed illegal by federal courts,” said Governor Abbott. “My Executive Order clearly states that no employer can mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for an employee with a religious, personal, or medical exemption. We have now created a hotline for employees to report illegal vaccine mandates in Texas. While I encourage Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it will always be voluntary, and never forced, in Texas, and we are committed to ensuring Texans’ livelihoods are not jeopardized by federal overreach.” 

Gov. Gregg Abbott

Also in the letter, TWC asked to be notified about employees who were subjected to vaccine mandates in violation of GA-40. In order to do so, employees can call 800 939 6631 or email vaccine_job_loss@twc.texas.gov. The agency said it will then refer verified tips to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

You can read the full letter from TWC here.